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There’s always something interesting going on at Honolulu Hale.
Civil Beat is reporting from the inside.
##5:39 p.m. What We Learned
Readers of **Inside Honolulu** today already got the blow-by-blow news from this morning’s key [[Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation]]** meeting that asked financial questions of **Ansaldo**.
**Civil Beat** has taken one step back to get a broader view of what the meeting meant for the embattled rail contractor, based on our conversation with **Finance Committee** Chair **[[Don Horner]]**.
Read the full piece [here](http://www.civilbeat.org/posts/2011/09/08/12786-what-we-learned-from-the-ansaldo-teleconference/).
##5:33 p.m. Honolulu’s Lousy Traffic
In case you missed it this morning, **Civil Beat** published a Fact Check looking at a claim from rail proponents, including Mayor **[[Peter Carlisle]]**, that Honolulu has [some of the country’s worst traffic](http://www.civilbeat.org/fact_checks/2011/09/08/12752-fact-check-rail-proponents-honolulu-2nd-most-congested-city-in-us/).
We found that claim to be “mostly true,” based on a 2010 study from **INRIX** that says Honolulu has the nation’s second-highest “Travel Time Tax” — a metric that determines how much travelers are delayed by traffic versus free-flow conditions.
Opponents have said it’s a bogus statistic and instead pointed to other studies that show Honolulu’s ranking further down. We’ve updated the fact check this afternoon to include statements from INRIX that explain the differences between their studies and others as well as an explanation for why traffic conditions have actually *improved* since 2006.
Read the piece [here](http://www.civilbeat.org/fact_checks/2011/09/08/12752-fact-check-rail-proponents-honolulu-2nd-most-congested-city-in-us/).
##3:55 p.m. Undercover in Washington
Civil Beat Washington Bureau Chief **[[Adrienne LaFrance]]** has published [her account](http://www.civilbeat.org/articles/2011/09/08/12788-civil-beat-catches-rail-leaders-trying-to-go-deep-undercover-in-washington/) of a hallway encounter with Mayor **[[Peter Carlisle]]**, **[[Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation]]** Board Chair **[[Carrie Okinaga]]** and Interim Executive Director **[[Toru Hamayasu]]**. They were surprised to see that she’d hunted them down, and were reluctant to answer questions about rail.
LaFrance includes a verbatim transcript of their nine-minute chat as the party — including an incognito lobbyist/advisor — walked between two of Sen. **[[Daniel K. Inouye]]**’s offices. It’s worth reading if you want to know what happens when our local officials head to the nation’s capital.
Read the story [here](http://www.civilbeat.org/articles/2011/09/08/12788-civil-beat-catches-rail-leaders-trying-to-go-deep-undercover-in-washington/). Thank goodness for **[DC808](http://dc808.blogs.civilbeat.com/)**.
##12:44 p.m. Eagles Have Landed
We were told that Mayor **[[Peter Carlisle]]** is in Washington D.C. with **[[Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation]]** Board Chair **[[Carrie Okinaga]]** and Interim Executive Director **[[Toru Hamayasu]]**. Now we have proof.
**Adrienne LaFrance** of **DC808** fame caught up with the Honolulu officials today in the nation’s capital.
Check out her short piece [here](http://dc808.blogs.civilbeat.com/post/9966518120/train-ride-with-honolulu-rail-officials). She’ll have more later.
##12:27 p.m. Corp Counsel on Procurement
OK, we’ve now had a chance to scan — both electronically and with our own eyes — the memorandum referenced by **[[Honolulu City Council]]** member **[[Stanley Chang]]** at this morning’s HART meeting.
The key points are that 1) The city can take time to determine whether **Ansaldo** is a “responsible offeror” before executing the core systems contract; 2) The city could still decline to execute the contract if it determines Ansaldo is not responsible; 3) The next-highest-ranking offeror (in this case, **Sumitomo**) could be awarded the contract in that case; and 4) There is no established, hard timeline for any of this to happen.
Read the full memo below. The yellow highlighting, black stars and any other pen marks were presumably made by Chang before he provided us the memo. Ignore the warning at the top that says the document is privileged and confidential; that doesn’t apply to **Inside Honolulu** readers.
##11:14 a.m. Horner Impressed
After the meeting wrapped up, HART Finance Committee Chair **[[Don Horner]]** told reporters that he was impressed by the presentation from **Ansaldo**. We’ll share his full comments and review what we learned today in a separate story soon.
##9:47 a.m. Stanley Chang Testifies
**[[Honolulu City Council]]** member **[[Stanley Chang]]** was the only “member of the public” to provide testimony before the meeting concluded. He summarized a memo from **Corporation Counsel** that clarified the role of the chief procurement officer and what it means to be a “responsible offeror.”
**Inside Honolulu** obtained a hard copy of that memo and will post it here when we get back to **Civil Beat** headquarters.
##9:44 a.m. Aloha From Italy
After about 90 minutes of intense financial discussion, the conference call has wrapped up. HART Finance Committee Chair **Don Horner** thanked the Ansaldo officials for their willingness to work until nearly 10 p.m. their time provide assurances.
##9:20 a.m. Sale Or No Sale, Finmeccanica Is Obliged
HART Board Vice Chair **Ivan Lui-Kwan** just asked about reports that **Finmeccanica** is considering selling of one or more of its transportation subsidiaries. Group Finance Director **Luigi Calabria** replied that the publicly-traded company always needs to keep options on the table, but that Finmeccanica remains committed to the Honolulu project regardless.
He cited the bond obligations to **Chartis**, which won’t expire even in the event of a sale.
“Irrespective of who is the owner of Breda or STS, Finmeccanica will maintain its obligation to Chartis on the one hand and to the joint venture agreement,” he said. “We remain obliged.”
##8:52 a.m. Joint and Several Liability
Here’s one for all you lawyers reading **Inside Honolulu** today.
One of the common phrases repeated, both on this side of the teleconference screens and on the Italian side, is the concept of “joint and several liability.” Some may have heard that in the context of personal injury lawsuits, but it applies here as well.
Basically, it means that any and all the companies involved in the Ansaldo Honolulu project — Ansaldo STS, AnsaldoBreda and Finmeccanica — can be held liable for obligations. If one falters, the others are required to pick up the slack. So assurances from one are as good as assurances from any.
Read more about joint and several liability over at [The Free Dictionary](http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/joint+and+several+liability).
##8:43 a.m. Finmeccanica: Failure ‘Impossible’
After an opening presentation by Ansaldo Honolulu project chief **Enrico Fontana**, he turned it over to the parent company for an explanation of its finances.
**Finmeccanica** Group Finance Director **Luigi Calabria** talked about the company’s defense and aerospace contracts in the United States, and made a promise that any Finmeccanica subsidiary would deliver.
“It is impossible for Finmeccanica companies to not finish the contract,” he said, repeating the word “impossible” for effect.
“They are all sons of Finmeccanica,” he said. “We are completely, organically integrated with our wholly-owned subsidiaries.”
HART Finance Committee Chair **Don Horner** thanked Calabria for his assurances.
##8:20 a.m. The Questions
HART **Finance Committee** Chair **Don Horner** is going through the 15 questions provided to Ansaldo in writing. Horner is seeking:
* A chronology of business history
* Net profit for the past five years
* Liquidity, capital and available credit
* Net worth over the last five years
* Short- and long-term liabilities
* Existing work backlog
* Customer references
* Manufacturing and assembly locations
* Independent credit ratings
* Record of customer safety performance
* “Information that would give the HART board comfort that the parent company is fully committed to the Honolulu rail project”
* Listing of ongoing customer litigation
* References, background and an update of the reported delays for the Los Angeles Rail project
* Pro forma estimate of the permanent of the permanent and temporary jobs to be created in Hawaii
* Name of the bonding surety and current bond credit ratings, dollar amounts and bond structure
##8:13 a.m. The Players
In addition to the Honolulu side, here’s the list of Ansaldo officials phoning in this morning:
**From Ansaldo STS Headquarters in Genova**
* **Enrico Fontana**, Authorized Representative, Ansaldo Honolulu Joint Venture
* **Alberto Milvio**, Chief Financial Officer, Ansaldo STS
* **Eugenio Dota**, SVP, Ansaldo STS
* **Andrea Razeto**, VP Investor Relations, Ansaldo STS
* **Grazia Guazzi**, VP Corporate & Insurance Affairs, Ansaldo STS
* **Filippo Corsi**, VP Legal Business Affair, Ansaldo STS
**From Finmeccanica Headquarters in Rome**
* **Luigi Calabria**, Group Finance Director, Finmeccanica
* **Garbriele Palandri**, Finance Manager, Finmeccanica
* **Giuseppe Pollio**, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, AnsaldoBreda
* **Andrea Pepi**, SVP Mass Transit Business Unit, AnsaldoBreda
* **Fabricio Esposito**, Legal Counsel, AnsaldoBreda
* **Gianpaolo Nuonno**, Head of Program Management Mass Transit, AnsaldoBreda
* **Giuseppe Barreca**, Legal Advisor, Ansaldo STS
##7:57 a.m. Ansaldo On The Big Screen
This morning’s **[[Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation]]** joint committee meeting is at the **First Hawaiian Bank** tower in Downtown Honolulu.
Here’s [the agenda](http://www.honolulutransit.org/media/21725/090811jointagenda.pdf).
Mayor **[[Peter Carlisle]]** has no local public events today or for the rest of this week. He’ll be in Washington D.C. with **[[Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation]]** Board Chair **[[Carrie Okinaga]]** and Interim Executive Director **[[Toru Hamayasu]]**. Read **[DC808](http://dc808.blogs.civilbeat.com/)** for all things Washington, including updates on the Honolulu officials’ visits with the congressional delegation and the **Federal Transit Administration**.
##Read Previous Editions of Inside Honolulu
**[September 7](http://www.civilbeat.org/posts/2011/09/07/12771-inside-honolulu-september-7/):** Four Council District Plans; The Resignation Letter; Jamila Resigns From Planning Commission; Thoughts on Washington Trip; Not Following Rules; Where’s Carlisle?
**[September 6](http://www.civilbeat.org/posts/2011/09/06/12759-inside-honolulu-september-6/):** Thursday Night In Waianae; Council Public Hearing Notice; Mayor On Homelessness; Jobs Claim Half True; Where’s Carlisle?
**[September 2](http://www.civilbeat.org/posts/2011/09/02/12740-inside-honolulu-september-2/):** Peter, Toru, Carrie All Washington-Bound; Carlisle’s Public Sked; HART at First Hawaiian; Carlisle at Civil Beat; Ansaldo: We Complied With Licensing Requirement; Long Weekend; Civil Beat’s ‘Hatchet Job’; Where’s Carlisle?
**[September 1](http://www.civilbeat.org/posts/2011/09/01/12709-inside-honolulu-september-1/):** PIG Picks Bunda; Carlisle’s Rail Pep Talk; Semi-Autonomous, But Connected; All Sewage Ideas Welcome; Defining ‘Undercover’; Today’s Meetings; Where’s Carlisle?